(2003)

Critic Reviews

63

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Entertainment Weekly
In spirit, Open Water reduces us to children peering through our fingers, waiting for the horrid deliverance we're not quite sure we want to see.
100
San Francisco Chronicle
The nagging desire to help these people underscores the involvement of the audience in this superbly told story. You can almost taste the saltwater, and the fear.
100
Philadelphia Inquirer
Without doubt one of the scariest, creepiest, gut-churningly unsettling pictures to come along in ages.
100
Worth a dozen "Blair Witch Projects," with much more harrowing psychology and pithy dialogue. It's a bone-chilling plunge into no-holds-barred storytelling.
88
The ending -- a more devastating surprise than "The Village" could manage -- caps eighty sweat-job minutes of imaginative, jolting suspense.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
Rarely, but sometimes, a movie can have an actual physical effect on you. It gets under your defenses and sidesteps the "it's only a movie" reflex and creates a visceral feeling that might as well be real. Open Water had that effect on me.
88
Premiere
Open Water may not be a pristine or complex suspense thriller, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anything else as terrifyingly potent in such a tiny package.
75
There's more terror than entertainment here, though. I've seen a lot of movies in my life I couldn't wait to see end; this may be the first good one.
70
Wall Street Journal
Open Water, which was made for $130,000 -- and seemingly without special-effects assistance -- proves you don't have to have a big budget to have an audience on the edge of its seat.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
Could develop a cult following. But it is hard to envision repeat viewings or any great number of people willing, even vicariously, to undergo the couple's ordeal.
63
New York Daily News
The actors are unknowns, but Ryan does a lot with her little downturned mouth. There are as many shades of anxiety as there are shades of blue in the sea, and Ryan manages to find them all.

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